“Open your eyes to the beauty around you. Open your mind to the wonders of life. Open your heart to those who love you, and always be true to yourself.”

—Maya Angelou, late American poet, memoirist, civil rights activist

Only four presidents — John F. Kennedy in 1961, Bill Clinton in 1993 and 1997, Barack Obama in 2009 and 2013, and Joe Biden in 2021 — have included poets in their inaugurations. Maya Angelou was one of those six poets. I hope her nuggets of wisdom in today’s quote resonates for you.


Please take a look and explore the work of these six poets, and the messages for their time in history:

2021: Amanda Gorman, “The Hill We Climb”
2013: Richard Blanco, “One Today”
2009: Elizabeth Alexander, “Praise Song for the Day”
1997: Miller Williams, “Of History and Hope”
1993: Maya Angelou, “On the Pulse of Morning”
1961: Robert Frost, “The Gift Outright”